“You’re getting very sleepy…” The iconic phrase known everywhere as the opening act of hypnosis. The legitimacy of Hypnosis has long been debated in the scientific community- since the 18th century hypnosis has been a controversial treatment for a long list of physical and psychological illnesses. According to Professor William Ray of Penn State psychology, “It has taken centuries for medical hypnosis to regain credibility. In the 1950’s, reliable measures of hypnotizability were developed, which allowed this research field to gain validity. We’ve seen more than 6,000 articles on hypnosis published since then in medical and psychological journals. Today, there’s general agreement that hypnosis can be an important part of treatment for some conditions, including phobias, addictions and chronic pain.” Professor Ray has recently been using his research on hypnosis to understand the brain and pain response. Ray notes “We have done a variety of EEG studies,” says Ray, “one of which suggests that hypnosis removes the emotional experience of pain while allowing the sensory sensation to remain. Thus, you notice you were touched but not that it hurt.”
Though Professor Ray’s research could prove to be a great leap forward in pain management, hypnosis still carries the “pseudo-science” stigma and is surrounded by myths. Truth be told, you’ve probably experienced hypnosis many times in your own life; any time you’ve been completely engrossed in a task at hand, lost track of time, didn’t hear someone call your name- you’ve been experiencing a hypnotic trance. When you are hypnotized you are neither sleeping, nor unconscious, you are actually in a state of hyper-alertness and hyper-responsiveness. At this point your mind can become open to suggestion, though not completely controllable. Professor Ray states, “While it’s true that the subconscious mind is more open to suggestion during hypnosis, that doesn’t mean that the subject’s free will or moral judgment is turned off.” So keeping this information in mind, you can make your own decision concerning Hypnosis being used for weight management and weight loss. This article comes from Fitness Magazine:
Free your mind meet your goals?
When I hear that phrase “You are getting sleepy,” all I get is skeptical. Hypnosis makes me think of a pendulous stopwatch and audiences at comedy shows quacking like ducks. You too, I bet. But it’s making a comeback. Celebs have been lining up to try it: Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, and Matt Damon all have used it to quit smoking; Mandy Moore and Fergie, to reduce anxiety; and Lily Allen and Courtney Love, to drop pounds.
There’s a good reason for the resurgence: A pile of new research shows that it works. “In the past 10 years the empirical data on hypnosis has exploded,” says Guy Montgomery, PhD, director of the integrative behavioral medicine program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in hundreds of rigorous studies.” Plus, there’s more awareness and acceptance of alternative therapies now; nearly 40 percent of us use some form of alternative medicine, according to a new government survey of more than 23,000 U.S. adults.
While most researchers and doctors agree on the definition of hypnosis — an altered state of consciousness characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction — the jury’s still out on how it works. Some scientists theorize that hypnosis bypasses your conscious thoughts and goes directly to your unconscious mind, while others believe that it helps you change the way you perceive the world. One thing that’s clear is the strength of the mind-body connection. Simply thinking a negative thought triggers the release of stress hormones, but focusing on happiness, love, or joy produces feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, which diminish anxiety, says Tracy Latz, MD, a psychiatrist and coauthor of Shift: A Woman’s Guide to Transformation.
Still skeptical? You don’t have to schedule an appointment to reap the benefits. We sorted through the research and grilled the experts on how you can think yourself into doing almost anything. Hypnotists have an arsenal of mental tools you can borrow and use on your own that range from “hypnosis light” — visualization exercises and positive thinking — to outright self-hypnosis. Get ready to master them — and run faster, face your fear, feel less pain, and more.
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